Getting the Most out of Affiliate Summit West

The New Year has kicked off and that means that Affiliate Summit West is right around the corner.  ASW is arguably the biggest event of the year for affiliate marketing, bringing everyone from Super Affiliates to complete newbies together for three days of exhibits, conference sessions, and networking events (also known as parties).  The show can be a real whirlwind and it’s easy to get caught up in the craziness and not get everything accomplished that you initially planned.  So, whether you are an Affiliate Summit vet or a first-timer, here are a few quick tips for making the most out of your trip to Affiliate Summit West next week.

1. Get to Registration Early
Registration opens on Saturday from 4:00pm – 8:00pm and if you happen to be getting in to town before Sunday, I highly recommend stopping by to pick up your badge on Saturday.  You will beat the Sunday morning crowd and be able to jump right in when the show starts.  The lines have been known to get very long on Sunday morning, so if you can’t get to the show on Saturday, be sure to allow some extra time on Sunday.

2. Don’t Miss the Meet Market
The Meet Market (Sunday, 1/9 from noon until 6:00pm) has become one of the biggest events of the show.  A few years ago, the event started as a mini-exhibit hall with a just few tables.  But it has grown to include close to 100 exhibitors and draws a huge crowd at the opening of the show each year.  If you haven’t made time to check out the Meet Market in the past, make a point of putting it on your schedule this year.  It doesn’t replace the exhibit hall (as not every exhibitor will have both a table and a booth) but gives you a chance to talk to a lot of companies in a short amount of time.

3. Catch Some Conference Sessions
Many people head out to Vegas each January planning on focusing on networking during the Affiliate Summit.  While this should absolutely be one of your biggest goals during the show, don’t forget to attend a few of the conference sessions.  At many shows, it seems like the majority of session content is geared toward beginners.  Certainly, if you are a relative newbie to affiliate marketing then you should make a priority of attending as many sessions as possible in Vegas.  However, Missy and Shawn do a great job of providing content for all affiliate marketers – no matter how long you have been in the business.  As you look at the session descriptions you will find each one rated by Experience Level (from Beginner to Advanced).  This makes it easy to identify sessions targeted specifically at your level of knowledge and experience.  So, just because you have been in affiliate marketing for a number of years, don’t assume that there won’t be any sessions that could help you grow your business.

4. Pace Yourself
Just like every year, Affiliate Summit West 2011 will feature a huge lineup of parties beginning Saturday evening and continuing through Monday night.  For a great list of all the big events, check out this great party list put together by well known industry blogger the Ad Hustler.  As you look over the list, your first reaction is likely to be “how on earth can I actually check out all these parties?”  Honestly it is pretty much impossible, unless you want to spend your entire trip running from one event to another.  So, my recommendation is to pick just a few that you really want to attend and make sure you are on the RSVP list.  One final suggestion on parties.  Don’t plan on being able to do too much serious networking during the parties.  While some will be relatively mellow, others will be big events at various Vegas clubs.  Expect them to be loud and crowded.  So, plan on having fun, but not being able to talk much business.

5. Schedule Appointments in Advance
The show will get crazy.  If there are people or companies you want to make sure you meet during the show, make appointments in advance.  If you just head to the show and hope to hook up with people at one point or another, there is a good chance you may never connect.  At the same time, don’t over-book yourself.  Once the show starts, even the most organized meeting plans can start to unravel as other meetings run long.  So, try to give yourself a decent buffer between each meeting.

6. Visit the Booth
What, you didn’t expect me to write list of suggestions for the show and not mention visiting our own booth, did you?  Of course not.  So, be sure to stop by our booth (#400/402) during the show to say hello to one of our team members and find out about the hot offers we have geared up for 2011.  Plus, you can play our new Blackjack Scratch Card Game for a chance to win some great prizes!

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